Riverhead, New York
Philip Schmitt & Son grow more than 30 types of produce, including red and green leaf lettuces, cabbage, and a variety of root vegetables. Ground-hugging leafy greens fare especially well here;
Long Island's naturally sandy soil allows water to drain easily, keeping their roots moist but their fronds dry. All produce is grown with reduced pesticide and fertilizer usage, never treated with shelf life extenders, and hand cut and picked at the peak of ripeness for the most healthful and flavorful results - the farmers have to plant every day during peak season just to keep up with demand.
The history of their farm mirrors the history of Long Island. Their
original farmstead was established in the late 1800's in Rosedale, Queens - at the time a rural farming community. In the 1920's their farm relocated to the then-aptly named Farmingdale, but once again as Long Island's population grew farms moved further east. Finally, in the 1970's they moved to their present location in Riverhead, the base of the split between the North and South Forks - the heart of Long Island farm and wine country.
The Schmitt farm has been a family run business for four generations, with three of those generations still involved in the farm's operation - Philip Schmitt III, wife Debbie, mother Ann and father Philip Jr., and grandsons Philip IV and Matt.